Gallery: Patarei Prison illuminated to remember March deportations

Tallinn's Patarei Prison was illuminated red on Thursday on the 72th anniversary of the mass deportations of Estonians to Siberia in 1949.

The lighting was organized by the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory. You can view more pictures of Patarei on Postimees.

From March 25-28, 1949, more than 90,000 people across the Baltics, including more than 20,000 in Estonia, ranging from infants to the elderly, were forcibly removed from their homes by Soviet forces and deported to Siberia as part of Operation Priboi ("Coastal Surf"). Thousands would never return.

The totalitarian regime branded innocent residents a "socially alien element", the Estonian Institute of Human Rights said.

Usually, on March 25, thousands of candles are lit in town squares and public spaces across Estonia to remember those who were deported, but this year, similar to last year, people are being asked to light candles at home.

The Estonian Institute of Human Rights is asking people to post pictures of their candles on social media with the hashtag #Mäletame (we remember).

Flowers and wreaths were also laid at the Memorial to the Victims of Communism at Maarjamäe on Thursday.   

President Kersti Kaljulaid marked the occasion by laying a wreath and candles at the memorial.

Täna möödub 72 aastat märtsiküüditamisest. Süütasin 1949. aasta märtsis Siberisse saadetud üle 20 000 inimese...

Posted by Kersti Kaljulaid on Thursday, 25 March 2021

On Wednesday, the European Parliament held a minute of silence to commemorate the thousands of Latvians, Lithuanians, Estonians forcibly deported to Siberia in March 1949.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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